A Review of Mobile Applications in General Practice: Forming a Questionnaire to Explore Clinician Needs

Background and aims

Increasing patient-empowerment and participation in health-management is critical, especially in preventative and chronic care domains. While this has traditionally been facilitated by primary care professionals, more recently patients are turning toward mobile self-management tools. While clinicians could better understand patients’ situations through these, concerns exist, e.g. safety and efficacy. Therefore, clinicians, researchers and app-developers must iteratively collaborate to synthesize strategic and relatable app-use in medical practice.


A literature review searched Embase, MEDLINE and PubMed using terms related to key concepts of mobile self-management apps and primary care. The quality of studies was assed using the NHLBI tools. Data on efficacy, usability and acceptability of apps was extracted. A brainstorming session, involving app developers and a GP with mHealth research experience, was conducted to develop a questionnaire for clinicians.


In the review, the search resulted in 960 papers and 12 were finally included. Type 2 diabetes was the most commonly targeted disease-case, with apps reportedly impacting outcomes e.g. HbA1c or self-management domains. Clinicians and patients were positive about app-usage but, only 2 and 3 studies respectively reported on these outcomes. Cited problems included: treatment adherence, technical difficulties and appointment duration. Brainstorming sessions resulted in a questionnaire (18 questions) including the main topics visualized in Figure 1.


If you are a GP, please respond to the questionnaire (http://tinyurl.com/hs6kzt5) to further help inform society about how GPs can effectively use apps. The result will be presented at next year’s ATTD conference 2018!